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MIS - Development Process

In MIS, the information is recognized as a major resource like capital and time. If this
resource has to be managed well, it calls upon the management to plan for it and control it,
so that the information becomes a vital resource for the system.
The management information system needs good planning.
This system should deal with the management information not with data processing
alone.
It should provide support for the management planning, decision-making and action.
It should provide support to the changing needs of business management.
Major challenges in MIS implementation are:
Quantity, content and context of information - how much information and exactly
what should it describe.
Nature of analysis and presentation - comprehensibility of information.
Availability of information - frequency, contemporariness, on-demand or routine,
periodic or occasional, one-time info or repetitive in nature and so on
Accuracy of information.
Reliability of information.
Security and Authentication of the system.

Planning for MIS


MIS design and development process has to address the following issues successfully:
There should be effective communication between the developers and users of the
system.

There should be synchronization in understanding of management, processes and


IT among the users as well as the developers.
Understanding of the information needs of managers from different functional areas
and combining these needs into a single integrated system.
Creating a unified MIS covering the entire organization will lead to a more
economical, faster and more integrated system, however it will increase in design
complexity manifold.
The MIS has to be interacting with the complex environment comprising all other
sub-systems in the overall information system of the organization. So, it is extremely
necessary to understand and define the requirements of MIS in the context of the
organization.
It should keep pace with changes in environment, changing demands of the
customers and growing competition.
It should utilize fast developing in IT capabilities in the best possible ways.
Cost and time of installing such advanced IT-based systems is high, so there should
not be a need for frequent and major modifications.
It should take care of not only the users i.e., the managers but also other
stakeholders like employees, customers and suppliers.
Once the organizational planning stage is over, the designer of the system should take the
following strategic decisions for the achievement of MIS goals and objectives:
1. Development Strategy: Example - an online, real-time batch.
2. System Development Strategy: Designer selects an approach to system
development like operational verses functional, accounting verses analysis.
3. Resources for the Development: Designer has to select resources. Resources can
be in-house verses external, customized or use of package.
4. Manpower Composition: The staffs should have analysts, and programmers.

Information system planning essentially involves:


Identification of the stage of information system in the organization.
Identification of the application of organizational IS.
Evolution of each of this application based on the established evolution criteria.
Establishing a priority ranking for these applications.
Determining the optimum architecture of IS for serving the top priority applications.

Information System Requirements


The following diagram illustrates a brief sketch of the process of information requirement
analysis:

The following three methodologies can be adopted to determine the requirements in


developing a management information system for any organization:

1. Business Systems Planning (BSP) - this methodology is developed by IBM.


a. It identifies the IS priorities of the organization and focuses on the way data is
maintained in the system.
b. It uses data architecture supporting multiple applications.
c. It defines data classes using different matrices to establish relationships
among the organization, its processes and data requirements.
2. Critical Success Factor (CSF) - this methodology is developed by John Rockart of
MIT.
a. It identifies the key business goals and strategies of each manager as well as
that of the business.
b. Next, it looks for the critical success factors underlying these goals.
c. Measure of CSF effectiveness becomes an input for defining the information
system requirements.
3. End/Means (E/M) analysis - this methodology is developed by Wetherbe and Davis
at the University of Minnesota.
a. It determines the effectiveness criteria for outputs and efficiency criteria for
the processes generating the outputs.
b. At first it identifies the outputs or services provided by the business
processes.
c. Then it describes the factors that make these outputs effective for the user.
d. Finally it selects the information needed to evaluate the effectiveness of
outputs

Factors for Success and Failure


MIS development projects are high-risk, high-return projects. Following could be stated as
critical factors for success and failure in MIS development:
1. It should cater to a specific, well-perceived business.
2. The top management should be completely convinced, able and willing to such a
system. Ideally there should be a patron or a sponsor for the system in the top
management.
3. All users including managers and other employees should be made an integral part
of the development, implementation, and use of the system.
4. There should be an operational prototype of the system released as soon as
possible, to create interest among the users.
5. There should be good support staff with necessary technical, business, and
interpersonal skills.
6. The system should be simple, easy to understand without adding much complexity.
It is a best practice, not to add up an entity unless there is both a use and user for it.
7. It should be easy to use and navigate with high response time.
8. The implementation process should follow a definite goal and time.
9. All the users including the top management should be given proper training, so that
they have a good knowledge of the content and function of the system, and can use
it fully for various managerial activities such as reporting, budgeting, controlling,
planning, monitoring, etc.
10. It must produce useful outputs to be used by all managers.
11. The system should be well integrated into the management processes of planning,
decision-making, and monitoring.